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Papers: Massive test against Sevilla awaits Barcelona

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

With Barcelona about to face Sevilla twice in the space of a week, all the media buzz is about the two vital upcoming clashes. The Catalans travel to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday to face Sevilla in La Liga, before hosting them in midweek for the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.

Naturally, the Andalusians are headlining the news on the papers’ front pages. SPORT are labelling the league fixture as the ‘Battle at the Pizjuan’. The fixture will be key in terms of the league title race for Barcelona as well as Sevilla.

Visitors Barcelona are currently in third position, trying desperately to keep pace with Atletico Madrid at the top and to reclaim second position from eternal rivals Real Madrid. Sevilla are just two points behind Barcelona in fourth, aiming to break into the top three.

The outlet report that Ronald Araujo’s return will serve as a major reinforcement for Ronald Koeman to keep the pressure on Barcelona’s Madrid-based rivals.

“The veterans cannot do everything alone,” says the Dutch coach, asking the youth to step up in the crucial games ahead.

Mundo Deportivo also have their attention turned to the Sevilla clashes, labelling the league clash as ‘the first final’. They believe the league game is a stress test for the Blaugrana ahead of their massive challenge to overturn a two-goal deficit in the cup semi-final second leg.

MD also touch upon Araujo’s availability after returning from an ankle injury layoff and state the possibility of a tactical retouching for Barça. Koeman is exploring the idea of a number ‘9’ to open spaces with Messi in behind.

The Azulgranas’ hopes for any sort of silverware this season, hinge largely on these two clashes against Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla side. As the papers rightly state, they are no less than finals themselves.

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